Fast bowler Charl Langeveldt yesterday withdrew from South Africa’s tour of India in the aftermath over the controversy of his selection ahead of fellow paceman Andre Nel.
His shock withdrawal came just three days before the Proteas are due to depart for a three-Test tour which will decide second place on the International Cricket Council ranking list.
Cricket South Africa chief executive Gerald Majola said in a statement: "Charl Langeveldt called me today in an emotional state saying he wanted to withdraw from the tour to India so that he can consider his international future in the right frame of mind.
“He said that the public controversy over the selection of the Proteas team to tour India had upset him to the extent that he would not be in the right frame of mind to tour India and do his best for the Proteas.
"Charl said he wanted to use this time instead to consider his future in international cricket in a cool and calm manner."
Langeveldt was picked ahead of Nel against the wishes of South African coach Mickey Arthur, who wanted to keep a successful squad together. It was widely believed that Langeveldt was picked mainly to lift the number of black players in the touring squad to comply with a policy that there should be six players of colour in a 14-man squad.
Langeveldt and spin bowler Robin Peterson were picked in place of white players Nel and Johan Botha who toured Bangladesh last month in a squad that contained only four players of colour.
The squad for Bangladesh was signed off by Majola without the approval of Cricket SA president Norman Arendse, who continued to insist that the target be met.
Arendse received backing from Cricket SA’s general council at a meeting on February 29 and said after the announcement of the squad for India that the players had been selected in accordance with policy.
Both Nel and Langeveldt were reported to be deeply upset when the squad was announced on the eve of the second one-day international against Bangladesh in Dhaka on March 12. The Sunday Times reported that both players were in tears in captain Graeme Smith’s room.
Nel was reportedly so disappointed that he wanted to withdraw from the next day’s game but was persuaded to play and claimed the man of the match award by taking four for 27. New ball partner Langeveldt also shone, taking three for 31.
Majola said he had discussed Langeveldt’s situation with selection convenor Joubert Strydom and it had been decided to accede to the player’s request. He said the selectors were considering a replacement.
Majola said: “I have assured Charl that he is very much in the Proteas’ plans, and is regarded as one of our best fast bowlers in both ODI and Test cricket. We will have in-depth discussions with him and hopefully he will continue to be available for international selection."